QUAERITUR: advice for a wymynpryst wannabe

I tip my biretta to my friends Fr. Blake and His Hermeneuticalness  o{]:¬)  for links to the blog of, "that blonde", as Fr. Blake quips.

It seems that the Mulier Fortis has finally succumbed to the forces of social pressure, marxist feminism and the desire for clerical haberdashery. 

She wants to be a wymynpryst…ette.

Here is what she has to say … and to ask. 

My emphases and comments:

Having seen these photos on the Curt Jester‘s excellent blog, I have been inspired. I feel sure that I am called and chosen… I have a vocation to the ordained priesthood. YES ! I want to become a womynpriest.

BUT… not just any old womynpriest. I like Latin, and snazzy vestments, and I believe in Tradition, and so I am totally convinced that I am called to be a Traddy womynpriest.

So, I have a few questions for my soon-to-be-fellow clerics:

(1) Should I remove my mantilla while being ordained to the Minor Order of exorcist?

[Perhaps the best solution here is to handle the mantilla much as the real cleric would handle the amice.  When you play dress up … er um… vest for not-Mass, do as a real priest does. Before putting on the amice, place the mantilla over your … hair… and then, avoiding contact with earrings, shift it down to the neck reciting the following: "Sapiens mulier aedificavit domum suam insipiens instructam quoque destruet manibus".  For the Novus Ordo the mantilla should be left abased…. but they don’t have exorcists, do they… never mind.  For the TLM, however, in respect for Paul’s injunction, it should then be brought back up over the hair and bound down under the amice.]

(2) Does anyone know whether buckled shoes are available with stiletto heels?

[WDTPRS doesn’t know.  Sadly, there are a few clerics who would gladly help you find some.  There are also issues of silk-stockings to be considered.  But that must be left for another day.]

(3) What action should one take when a false nail falls into the chalice after the Consecration? (Ditto for false eyelashes!)

[For heaven’s sake!  This should be clear from our first principles.  Noobies!  The false nail should be fished out, burned, and the ashes put down the sacrarium.  The eyelash, if possible, should be consumed, but, alternatively, it can also be burned, etc.  It is advised that the nails be of the proper liturgical color for the Mass of the day, or at least of the season.  CAVEAT: false nails and eyelashes should only be used for the NO.  In the TLM, a certain measure of old-fashioned decorum should be observed.  In olden days simple-clerics and Latin priests were not allowed to have facial hair (in this case the false eyelashes would apply… if you get my drift) or rings, jewelry, other vanities (such as false-nails).  This would pertain to those groovy clerics who build up their nails with super-glue and tissue in order to play the guitar.  NB: If a nail is broken playing guitar during Mass, the guitar should immediately be burned and the ashes dumped unceremoniously outside somewhere.]

(4) Would a clerical tonsure remove the need to have my roots re-touched? 

[Depending on the size of the tonsure, obviously!  However, in the case of the small tonsure remember the caveat about the nails: proper liturgical colors, please.]

(5) How can one remove lipstick stains from a purificator?

[Silly woman!  Consult the women who clean the linens in those places where Unnecessary Ministers of "the Cup" are distributing the Precious Blood at Communion, and don’t waste our valuable time here.  Sheesh!]

(7) Is it permissible to knit when assisting in choir?

[Knit?  The well-trained cleric answers these questions based on sound principles.  For example, every priest knows that while it is not permissible to smoke while reciting one’s Office, it is certainly permissible to pray while smoking.  Thus, the two activities can occur simultaneously.  The same would apply to the consumption of gins-and-tonic or perhaps hors d’œuvre.  Knitting would be covered by the same principle.  However, there is another problem with knitting.  It would make the proper handling of the biretta very awkward.  Knitting in choir is therefore imprudent.  And think of all that non-rubrical clacking – even when it isn’t Good Friday, the digging in the bag –  and how does one carry the bag in procession? – , the counting, etc!  Problems abound and multiply.  WDTPRS says "No!", and rather firmly.  Don’t knit in choir.]

UPDATE: It just occurred to me… this "Seal of the Confessional" thing… it doesn’t actually apply to really juicy bits of gossip, does it? I mean, what else can one talk about at the monthly parish coffee-and-cake mornings??

[My recommendation is – and this might be repeated frequently – repetita iuvant after all – "Keep your mouth shut!".  After all, the whole ordination is against nature itself, so why not take it the next logical step? As a help in this surely difficult enterprise, perhaps it would be good to meditate at length on the words the real… er um… the priest says during the incensation of the altar at a Missa cantata or Missa solemnis: Pone, Domine, custodiam ori meo, et ostium circumstantiae labiis meis: ut non declinet cor meum in verba malitiae, ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis.  A lot to chew over there, … in silence of course.  When these and other rubrical fashion problems are burdensome, it is recommended to repeat, together over coffee if necessary, the Ephipany Introit: Dum medium silentium tenerent omnia, et nox in suo cursu edium iter haberet, omnipotens sermo tuus, Domine, de caelis a regalibus sedibus venit.  Dominus regnavit, decorum indutus est: indutus est Dominius fortitudinem, et praecinxit se.]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. And if WombynPriestess Mulier becomes a slick curial operative and rises through the ranks, perhaps one day someone will announce from that balcony at the Vatican, “Habemus mamam!”

  2. Gosh, I never considered the challenges these people face!

  3. Raymond says:

    “Habemus mamam!”–LOL!!! So how would the word be translated in English–the “Mope?”

  4. Rosie says:

    I think we’re all getting our legs pulled here.

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    Do womynpriests really need to have the order of exorcist? What would they do? I mean, Matthew 12:24-26 – a house divided and all that.

  6. Magnificient!

    Hopefully she’ll be a byshop one day!

  7. Fr Blake says,
    “… amongst Italian and French Satanists there is a significant split between the ancient and modern rite. Apparently female Satanists, of a certain age, prefer the newer form as it is more adaptable!”

  8. Geoffrey says:

    I just can’t get the image of a woman with a tonsure out of my head! Ha ha!

  9. AJP says:

    Hee hee :) This calls to mind a fact that I’ve always found interesting.
    These womyn priests talk an awful lot about ordination and often
    celebrate “Mass”, but other than that they never say much about all the other
    aspects of the priesthood. They don’t seem interested in hearing Confessions,
    Adoration, exorcism, and the like. They don’t seem intersted in anything
    else Catholic except ordination itself and some quasi-Mass ritual (I say
    quasi-Mass because we are all sadly aware of what dissenters think the Mass
    is and should be about – they really don’t have the Catholic view on it).

    Don’t the womyn priests realize that even if they were men, but all other
    things remaining the same, they would still be inappropriate candidates
    for ordination? Men who deny the Real Presence, deny the sacrifice of the
    Mass, don’t believe in the need for other sacraments, don’t really believe
    in sin, embrace syncretism, embrace New Age garbage, and scorn anything
    that hints of Tradition, also should not become priests. So why should
    womyn with the same heterodox and heteroprax views be able to become

  10. Ed the Roman says:

    VSPR! (Latin ROFL, I think)

  11. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    Thanks for this! I haven’t laughed so hard in I don’t know how long! Wymynpriests, byshops… dyaconyte? Maybe the handbag could be worn over the left arm, with the prayer “Merear, Domine, portare peram fletus et doloris: ut cum exultatione recipiam mercedem laboris” said quietly while putting it on?

  12. Xpihs says:

    Would she need to keep the biretta on the whole time?

  13. Derik Castillo says:

    Thanks for the laugh Fr. Z.

    I wonder if acolytes should help the wymynpryst to descend
    the altar steps. The styletto buckled shoes, and all vestments
    should make it difficult.

    Acolytes should be alert in case the kiss of peace leaves
    lipstick smeared into someone.

    Also, lifting the alb after the prayers at the foot
    of the altar may be considered an offense.

    Derik Castillo

    [I see you are getting into the spirit if this! o{];¬) ]

  14. GOR says:

    This reminds me of some ‘issues’ I had raised a few years ago with women ‘priests’. One of my concerns was whether hosiery would need to match the liturgical season. Black and white would not be a problem, but green???

    However, these might be available from an Irish shop around St. Patrick’s Day. Given the length of Ordinary Time, it would be advisable to stock up by March 17th so that one wouldn’t run out – as it were – by Advent. Rose would seem to be less of a problem – except in finding them twice a year!

    Birettas would have to be re-designed so as not to impair the expensive coiffure obtained at Pierre’s on Saturday.

    If priests are addressed as ‘Father’ would a womynpriest be addressed as ‘Mother’? Mum? Ma’am? Mom?

    Decisions, decisions!


  15. Daniel Latinus says:

    “If priests are addressed as ‘Father’ would a womynpriest be addressed as ‘Mother’? Mum? Ma’am? Mom?”

    A grade school teacher I had (an ex-nun, who favored female priests) suggested, “fatheress”. (Did I mention she taught English, too. Actually, she didn’t do badly at that.)

  16. Daniel Latinus says:

    Oh, and don’t forget, albs will need to be made with darts! (Actually, I believe I saw these in an Almy catalog.)

    If wymynprysts are married, will they have to develop maternity vestments?

  17. garry says:

    there was the famous Mother Mary Sutton. Does that establish a precedent? Of course, she was notoriously a witch…

  18. Limbo says:

    Enough mockery of women.
    Enough mockery of the Mass
    Enough mockery !

    [Boy, do you need to unclench!]

  19. patrick f says:

    I can just see it now.

    See, from my experience many women carry so many things in their purses (I am a married man, I experience this), the the purse eventually morphs into a bag, thus I am not sure one could effectively lay it on top of the book when one gave the homily :) (

    And to the guy who had the issue of the tonsure, a good traditionalist womynpriest would/should be wearing the mantilla, thus if it was thick enough, you wouldnt see the tonsure. [Good point!]

  20. LCB says:

    It may be uncharitable, but I always call female-priestesses “father.” Even if corrected, I persist. In English a priest is properly called Father.

  21. Argent says:

    Concerning bags…can’t we apply a hermeneutic of continuity here and make the maniple into a handbag?

    I’m sure that Gammarelli’s would happily create this new kind of vestment.

    It might not be big enough for large knitting projects…but perhaps a project of, say, lace insets for rochets would be doable and unobtrusive and would fit nicely into the maniple bag.

  22. Cally says:

    Might I suggest dying your hair the proper liturgical color? The dye molecules would be…kinda like a covering I guess.

  23. Deusdonat says:

    It may be uncharitable, but I always call female-priestesses “father.” Even if corrected, I persist. In English a priest is properly called Father.

    Um…isn’t “female-priestesses” like saying “male prostates”? I mean, is there another kind we don’t know about?

    As for calling them “father”, I seem to remember in Star Trek Voyager that the female captain was called “Sir”, so the precedent is set. No need to worry about it. [They do it in Battlestar Galactica too! I guess that settles it!]

  24. LCB says:

    Calling a female ranking officer “sir” is not unheard of in the military.

  25. Mac McLernon says:

    I have to say, Fr. Z, that I’m overwhelmed by the support you’ve shown… especially with regard to false nails. I shall steer clear of them, and stick to nail varnish (of the correct liturgical colour, naturally!)

    As for the point raised by one of your commentators about stiletto heels and albs making negotiation of the sanctuary steps difficult, well, that’s ok, I’ve had lots of practice walking in high heels, and of course the cassock and alb will be a fetching mid-calf length to show off one’s ankles to their best advantage…

    The handbag would, naturally, be attached to the maniple. Alternatively, at a High Mass, a serviette could carry it…

  26. m.a. says:

    GOR said: “This reminds me of some ‘issues’ I had raised a few years ago with women ‘priests’. One of my concerns was whether hosiery would need to match the liturgical season. Black and white would not be a problem, but green???”

    – – – – –

    I never realized that male priests might be concerned whether their socks needed to match the liturgical season. If you raised the issue with women priests, there must be some concern among males about the suitability of wearing brown or blue socks. :)

  27. Karen Russell says:

    Fr. Z. suggested “NB: If a nail is broken playing guitar during Mass, the guitar should immediately be burned and the ashes dumped unceremoniously outside somewhere.]”

    On further reflection, why wait for the broken nail?

  28. quodvultis says:

    Missa being uncomfortably close to Miss, out of sensytyvyty to our systren I propose to change the derivative Mass to Ms.

  29. Peg says:

    I hope some script writer isn’t snooping around Fr.Z’s Blog…this could be next seasons newest sit-com or even worse a reality show.

  30. Melody says:

    If it came to it, “Mother” would be best… What a very dry sense of humor you have!

    Someone mind translating the Latin? I sense a joke in there somewhere… ^^

    AJP: I hear ya. It noted in a previous article that these “womynpriests” do not make a vow of obedience, which unless I’m mistaken would invalidate the orders even if all other things were at rights.

  31. supertradmom says:

    I hope this is a joke. Women have enough natural power, given to us by God, in order to work for good in humble and gentle ways, for our own salvation. I am reminded of a NO Mass where the dear Irish priest, who stammered and could hardly be heard, offering the sublime Sacrifice, and the blond, bright blue-dressed bombshell who came up to the altar to be the “Extraordinary Minister”. Her overpowering presence contrasted with the simple, bumbling priest and reminded several of us of the true vocation of servant of the priest, who was self-effacing as ever that day. In the place of Christ….We could sense who had the apostolic succession which is a call of grace, not talents.

  32. Anastasia says:

    I pray that your spiritual sight be opened to the fact that men and women are souls incarnated in a body, equally able to serve the Most High and equally able to move God’s power, light, and love into the world. And love those who frighten you. Always love. It is the hallmark of a true servant of God. Blessings.

  33. It would seem that the lavabo would also need to be extended, as it is well known that no self-respecting woman would simply pause to run a few drops of water over her hands and dab them dry. Liturgical accommodation ought to be made for straightening the mantilla, adjusting the vestments so that they fall just so, touching up the seasonal makeup, etc. Perhaps we can introduce a liturgical mirror?

  34. Limbo says:

    No sour grapes intended.

    I would never support women priests !

    I am a Traditional Catholic mother of a large family.
    I only seek respect for womanhood and the Mass.

    [You know this is a joke…. right? Please tell me you know this is a joke. – Fr. Z]

  35. Deusdonat says:

    Limbo – no disrespect. But if you’ve posted here for more than 24 hours and haven’t figured out that nearly everyone here (including and especially Father Z) have nothing if not respect for the Mass, then you are definitely in the wrong place.

    As for womanhood, I can only speak for myself (even though my wife would often rather I didn’t…)

  36. David2 says:

    “I hope some script writer isn’t snooping around Fr.Z’s Blog…this could be next seasons newest sit-com or even worse a reality show.\”

    The English have one: “The Vicar of Dibley”, a story about a chubby over-sexed Church of England “Priestess” in clerical garb, dealing with a whole lot of stereotypical country-folk.

    Dawn French’s “I’m-fat-and-horny-and-in-love-with-Jesus” schtick is quite blasphemous.

  37. pelerin says:

    I remember seeing a newspaper cartoon at the time of the introduction of women vicars (vicarines?) in the church of England. It showed one of them measuring up her church windows saying that she was going to need an awful lot of curtain material to cover them all!

  38. Sandra says:

    Well, there would be less of a need for staff and volunteers if wymyn were to be prysts.

    Since most women (I know) seem to operate on one or the other of two levels – either she is a “German Hausfrau” with floors so clean, you could eat off them or the “American party girl,” where HER appearance is important, but please ignore the dishes in the sink, the scum in the bathroom and the 2 inches of dust throughout the house.

    All the altar linens – the prystyss (female priest = priestess) will do, like wise the polishing of the woodwork, and scrubbing the floors, vacuuming the rugs and carpets and all the dusting, and don’t forget the windows. Or… we end up with the other, and can revert to nature, for all the “wild things” flourishing in the chapel.

    Patre, I too am TIC.

  39. Richard T says:

    I’m getting worried about Mulier Fortis.

    The biography on her blog reads:
    “I was about to describe myself as a young Catholic woman, but alas, that is no longer strictly true (two out of three isn’t bad)”

    Which one is no longer true? Since “she” now wants to be a priest, has she had a sex change?

  40. Sara says:

    The liturgically color appropriate hosiery is, of course, so that the prystyss’s stockings will coordinate with the vestments for the season. Sheesh…do y’all menfolk not pay attention to what your wymyn are doing? :)

  41. rcesq says:

    Father Z: Any deep significance to your silence on question 6 about tie-dye stoles? Or were you robbed of the power of speech by the mere suggestion that such typically Spirit of Vatican II garb would be appropriate? Surely a traddy wymynprystess cannot possibly make an appearance in the sanctuary wearing anything other than vestments made by such clerical couturiers as Tridentinum or St. Bede’s (or reasonable knockoffs)?

  42. Richard T:
    Rest assured that Mulier Fortis is entirely joking about the womynpriestly vocation, and that she is being tongue-in-cheek about her age, not her Catholicity nor her womanhood. :-)

  43. isabella says:

    Richard T raises an interesting point. If a woman who wants to become a womynpriest is willing to have a sex change operation, can s/he be ordained after healing?

    Now I’m going to wonder about that in my dreams. Yuck. Sounds like an Ambien kind of night.


  44. Ben says:

    I know that this post was ment to be funny and to slam on the prospect of woman priests (which is of course completely against Catholicism), but I find it to be in bad taste. Yeah men have been priests because Jesus was a male. But women have always been found at the alter rail like Mary of Bethany or the Virgin Mother. It is women who have made priests and preserved tradition. This woman prist thing is very silly and should be stopped, but let us not go down the road of using these ridiculous stereotypes. We are trashing these women because they are theologically in error not because they are too stupid to act in the facility of priests.

    Sorry for the rant but this article just upset me. We need to remember that Protestants got rid of their respect for women by getting rid of Mary and any devotion to her. These new woman-priests are just following what their Protestant sisters are doing by become pastors. But in Catholicism there was no rejection of the feminine (offically). I know that I am just preaching to the choir, but I found these jokes to be an excuse to slam women instead of woman priests.

  45. mariadevotee says:

    Ben, Don’t fret yourself, I am a woman and do not feel slammed. I was amused by the satire that was intended. By the way, would the womynpriest be limited to the basic black beretta? While black is always a classic color it seems that a beretta color coordinated with the liturgical colored vestments would strike a more ecclesial note.

  46. Sharon Stockard says:

    Fr. Z This is so funny, I am 72 and very traditional, and you have just made my day.I am going to put this in my favorites and when I need a good laugh this is what I will go to. Thanks to you all………………….ssoldie

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